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Journalist Simon Shuster speaking in Kansas City about his time with the Ukrainian president

Journalist Simon Shuster is seen here inside of the Ukrainian presidential compound in November of 2022.
Simon Shuster
Journalist Simon Shuster is seen here inside of the Ukrainian presidential compound in November of 2022.

During Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, journalist Simon Shuster had unprecedented access to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his inner circle. On Thursday, Shuster will hold a talk about his new book "The Showman" at Unity Temple on The Plaza.

Having covered Ukraine and its presidents for years, journalist Simon Shuster had an inside track on gaining access to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his inner circle at the beginning of the Russian invasion. During that time, he stayed in the presidential compound with Ukraine's leaders as they made crucial decisions about the war.

Shuster's reporting over the first year of the war resulted in his new book, "The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky." He says that, especially early in the war, Zelensky's showmanship was his "superpower."

"It was the thing that allowed him to grab and hold the world's attention, which was critical to maintain the support that the West provided," he told KCUR's Up To Date.

"Not only grabbing the attention and keeping the support of Western leaders, but also the people, all of us. The people who vote and elect the leadership in Western democracies — he was speaking to all of us in his videos, in his speeches. I think his skills as a showman really allowed him to do that effectively."

Simon Shuster In Conversation for The Showman, an inside story of Ukraine, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 at Unity Temple on The Plaza, 707 W 47th Street Kansas City, MO 64112. Tickets available at the link above.

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